Five times the Women Against Feminism tumblr proved women really need feminism


Like it or not, the Women Against Feminism tumblr is a real thing in the world. And all over the internet feminists are wondering were we could have gone so wrong that young women are so happily and publicly turning their backs on the very thing that actually ensured their right to express their opinions in public.

Because the women on this blog who so earnestly outline exactly why they “don’t need feminism” seem so very young, I can’t quite muster the energy to feel outraged. I understand that for many, their perspective on feminism has been skewed by a noisy men’s rights movement that equates feminism with man-hating, and a click-bait driven media that finds it amusing to pit women against each other by challenging young celebrities to prove their commitment to the sisterhood.

While I am sad, both for these young women, and for the movement that has fought so hard for them for so long, my overriding thought while scrolling through the blog was the way virtually every single post indicated how much these women actually need feminism. Like, really, really need it. Here are five pictures that prove it.


1. The animosity towards “sluts” is a disturbingly recurring theme in Women Against Feminism.  Not only does this particular example fundamentally misunderstand the reasons women have abortions (six in 10 US women who terminate their pregnancy are already mothers) but I’m positive there is no clearer advertisement of the need for feminism than the fact that young women are still prepared to demonise other women for their sexual choices. Someone really needs to let these young women know that “slut” is an arbitrary insult that, in reality, has very little to do with sex, and more to do with keeping women down (as this young woman demonstrates), and could just as easily be used against them regardless of their sexual activity - or lack thereof.

And who better to do that than a feminist?


2. Fighting for the right of women to kill and be killed in the military has never been on the top of my to-do list in the struggle for women’s rights. And I know that some feminists are flat out against it. But that doesn’t change the fact that feminism was instrumental in opening up the military to women in the 1970s (along with, you know, all the other workplaces where they were not permitted), and in lifting the prohibition against women in combat roles (in the US where this picture originates) removed in 2013. Now, I have no doubt that, as this woman claims, she has the “medals” to prove her strength. But she then she never would have been given an opportunity to prove herself if not for feminism. (Sidenote: perhaps someone might gently let her know that feminists will always have her back as they continue to bring the hold the military to account for its shocking record on sexual assault.)

 Do you, or does a woman you love serve in the military? Thank a feminist.


3. It’s clear to me that the masterminds behind this blog have no idea what “patriarchy” means, even as they inadvertently perpetuate it.  Let’s leave aside the pesky little fact that the very reason women do have more legal rights in western countries such as Australia and the US because that is where the feminist movement has been the successful, and focus instead on the ways patriarchy works to undermine these very rights.

Women may have same the legal rights but they suffer far more discrimination. Resumes with female names attached are less likely to be granted a job interview. Women are still underpaid, and less likely to be promoted. Out of the workplace, they are more likely to be domestic violence victims, and rape victims, and infinitely more likely to be blamed for their own sexual assault as judges, journalists, and the public alike sympathise with their rapists. 

Equal rights in law do not necessarily translate to equal rights in practice. Many legal barriers may have been removed thanks to feminists but structural and social barriers remain. And this is why women need feminism.

Don’t worry, young ladies, we’ll smash the patriarchy for you, even though you refuse to see it.


4. Ah, the good old, my-hitherto-personal-good-fortune-means-no-one-with-whom-I-share physical-characteristics-is-oppressed-either argument.

Of course, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data” and this young woman is clearly blind to the struggle of others. Moreover, it is precisely this false sense of security that leaves many women vulnerable and without knowing where to turn when in need because, although things may be going well right now, for women that can all be taken away at any moment.

As Amanda Marcotte writes, merely saying you are not oppressed does not create “an imaginary force field around you to prevent violence” and other oppression. It’s not like you can, “Just say you’re already equal, and boom! Magically, you are. Say that women are not targeted for violence and boom! Magically, all those rape victims disappear.”

But this young woman may want to keep in mind that it always was and always will be feminists who set up crisis centres for rape victims, and women’s shelters for domestic violence victims. It’s feminists who continue to keep equal pay on the agenda and feminists who keep fighting for the day every woman can truthfully say “I am not oppressed.”

5. Not to be blithe but, too late mate. You may not want to politicise your gender but that doesn’t mean you can stop others from doing so. Women’s bodies have been a battleground for politicians since well before the days that suffragettes handcuffed themselves to the gates of government buildings.

And nowhere has our gender been more politicised than in the current relentless assault on women’s reproductive autonomy. Let’s be clear here. Feminists didn’t ask for this fight. We don’t want politicians to use our uteruses as bargaining chips, and we definitely don’t want to be fighting for access to abortion more than four decades after women’s liberation became a household phrase.

But the widespread restrictions on abortion access, contraceptive healthcare in America, and the frequent attempts to undermine our own hard-won reproductive rights here in Australia means that we have no choice but to keep feminism in the political spotlight.

Because feminists know the second we get complacent about our rights, they will be taken away.



  • Many of the pictures on the page are actually quite simple and difficult to really fault.
    I.E. "I don't need feminism because Egalitarianism is better" I tend to agree with them.
    Feminists speak so freely just as this author has done as if their views represent all womens views. These women really want feminists to stop claiming they represent them. Because they actually don't. Feminism does NOT represent all women and never actually has.
    Feminism can only really speak for feminists, NOT for all women.
    Feminism is not truly about equality. It fights for womens rights, not really mens. Sure there may be some side issues that are put behind mens issues. But feminism cares for women. It does not give equal priority to both genders. It is not equal. It is as divisive as it's name. I don't see much future for feminism tbh.

    Date and time
    July 18, 2014, 2:32AM
    • Maybe someone should also point out to these women that all their posts have one thing in common - all rely on writing. Without feminism, only a small number of women could read and write (usually from either rich or enlightened families). Before feminism, it was thought that an education was unnecessary for women. By all means, feel empowered; make your protests, but have the decency to acknowledge the movement that gave you the skills to do so.

      The other irony of their protests is they are perpetuating the myth that feminism is about demonizing men. Never has been, never will be. Total furphy. That myth was a red herring thrown in by a small number of insecure men, who have whipped it up into a hysteria. By buying into that myth, these women have allowed themselves to be manipulated by a small proportion of men; yet they claim to be empowered. Repeat over and over - the majority of men have nothing to fear from feminism. It is not about hating men.

      Date and time
      July 18, 2014, 9:29AM
      • It's funny that you try to blame the problems with feminism on noisy "men's rights activists" rather than the reality, which is that a sizeable proportion of feminists aren't actually about equality or only support equality when females are disadvantaged.

        Reading a lot of the statements on that Tumblr and they make perfect sense. I think a lot of those women are far more supportive of equality than a large proportion of self proclaimed "feminists". Perhaps some introspection and objectively assessing the feminist worldview is in order rather than the instinctive protection of the sacred cow.

        Freddie Frog
        Date and time
        July 18, 2014, 10:12AM
        • I suggest those women against feminism are probably right-wing voters, or a large proportion thereof, and should not be taken seriously. They will always have silly ideas.

          Date and time
          July 18, 2014, 11:10AM
          • The only people I know who are 'anti-feminist' are people who don't know what feminism is - and why would they? They aren't taught about it at school, or anywhere else (unless they pursue further education on the subject) and all the media is ever interested in is provoking aggression and reaction in audiences by presenting the views of ignoramuses who like attention more than intelligent conversation.

            Men and women are not superior or inferior to each other, and are entitled to equal legal, economic, politcical, sexual, educational, cultural, social (etc) status and treatment. Does this - still - really need re-stated? The people who don't believe this stunt themselves - and all of their human relationships. At worst, they inflict misery and injustice on others.

            Patriarchy hurts men and women both. It's no coincidence that the most brutal and unstable societies on the planet are societies where women are uneducated, have no public role or presence, have no sexual or marital autonomy, have no control over their fertility, and are brutally punished for 'disobeying' the 'laws' of their family/community/society. It's much easier to dominate a society if you render 1/2 of its popularion powerless, whilst using that powerless half as free labour and as a source of future labour.

            Education in history - no 'isms' needed - is the only way people can protect the rights they have. Education is the only way people will understand that such rights are not givens, that throughout all of time the rights of the 'less poweful' have had to be fought for from the 'more powerful' and must therefore always be defended. Education is also the only way people will understand that, if they are one of the luckier ones, they have to fight for the rights of others.

            Date and time
            July 18, 2014, 11:28AM
            • My experience of feminism has been quite negative. My profession (software engineering) and industry is constantly being accused of sexism by articles that are simply factually incorrect. They protest that women aren't represented in tech, yet fail to mention that the ratio of men to women in university computer science classes is about 20 to 1. This is not because women are discouraged from computer science by men, it is because they have no interest or ability or whatever else. It has nothing to do with men oppressing women.

              The foundation of "equality", which is supposedly what feminism is all about, is also completely illogical to the point of stupidity. Men and women are very different (in a general sense), and this is often reflected by their (general) roles in society. It has nothing to do with oppression either.

              Then I hear claims about being paid less for the same job, yet I wonder how on earth they figured out what the "same" job was. Just by job title? That is the silliest thing I have heard. But I don't really know the facts of that study, so maybe it is accurate, who knows.

              A very large percentage of women I know are not primary earners. This isn't because they are being oppressed either. A large percentage of my males friends are often the primary earner or have found a job for their girlfriend in an admin role, for example. You don't find many unemployed men having girls scoop them up and provide for them. It is a different life for men and for women, and so there is no real "equality". It is often just about women demanding more than they deserve.

              Date and time
              July 18, 2014, 11:33AM
              • The problem that feminism has is that people don’t believe that what feminists are after is gender equality. Search “yougov feminism” and click on the “Has feminism become a dirty word” article and you’ll find that in the UK only 19% of people identify as being feminists but 81% believe in gender equality. My interpretation of that is that most people believe in gender equality, they just don’t believe that is what feminism about. Selective quotation of statistics like the raw gender wage gap, ignoring the fact that it isn’t looking at people in the same jobs and is instead comparing male engineers with female teachers is an apples and oranges comparison. The hypocrisy of complaining about men objectifying women and then doing the same with articles about Bradley Cooper’s short shorts or posting feminist slogans over images of Ryan Gosling sans shirt doesn’t sit well with everyone. Calls for female quotas for the good jobs like CEO, board and parliamentary positions but not for the dirty or dangerous jobs like mining, garbage collection, and men being told by feminists that they can only be “feminist allies” rather than actual feminists probably don’t help the cause either.

                Which is a shame because although I believe most of the legislation is in place in western countries at least for gender equality, there are still cultural problems which need to be overcome. The different standards for men and women with multiple sexual partners, the expectation that women will stay home to look after children, the shaming of those who have abortions are just a few. Some of these could be overcome by having legislation for additional options to men like shared parental leave, financial abortion etc but even then there needs to be a cultural shift to greater acceptance.

                Date and time
                July 18, 2014, 12:11PM
                • I'd write a longer comment on this fabulous article if I could but I'm busy sending out hundreds of copies of a little top selling book, the dictionary, to all the women on the Women Against Feminism blog.
                  Great work Ruby.

                  Charlie Dash
                  Date and time
                  July 18, 2014, 12:25PM
                  • I entirely agree, and just so everyone gets it;
                    Feminism- the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

                    Meaning feminism isn't about crushing or belittling men, but equalising our society, so no one needs to be defined by gender!

                    Date and time
                    July 18, 2014, 12:46PM
                    • Feminism has become a dirty word to many,largely I think because like any cause some followers become too extreme. My mother chose to stay at home while my brother and I were at school (we left in the early eighties). For this she was looked down upon my some feminists despite the fact this was her choice and she managed the family's finances and was on an equal footing with my father.

                      Perhaps the time has come to focus on equality for ALL people - to stop categorising people in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or socio-economic status. If we all just started seeing people as other human beings rather than pigeonholing them our similarities rather than our differences would become apparent.

                      Date and time
                      July 18, 2014, 1:39PM

                      More comments

                      Comments are now closed